The role of the Standing Committee on Screening is to advise the Clinical Principal Committee (CPC) of the Australian Health Ministers Advisory Council (AHMAC) on national population-based screening activities.

The terms of reference are to:

  • provide advice on emerging population screening issues and other screening issues at the direction of the CPC.
  • oversee generic issues related to national screening programs, including specifically, but not limited to, monitoring and evaluation, policy development, implementation and communication and recruitment strategies.
  • provide leadership and national direction on policy, implementation and monitoring of existing joint screening programs, BreastScreen Australia and the National Cervical Screening Program.
  • provide advice in relation to the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program.
  • provide guidance in relation to the Neonatal Hearing Screening Program and Newborn Bloodspot Screening Program.
  • make recommendations to the CPC and AHMAC on screening programs in response to new evidence and expert technical advice.
  • provide a focus on equity and access, in particular to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues, for national screening programs.
  • liaise and consult with the relevant experts on screening and refer appropriate issues for advice.

Frameworks and position statements

The committee have helped develop the following frameworks:

Newborn Bloodspot Screening resources

Newborn bloodspot screening is offered to all newborns in Australia. It is a blood test that is used to detect certain rare, genetic conditions and disorders of the metabolism. This collection includes guiding documents, forms and assessed conditions for the screening program.

The committee has written statements to explain their position about screening:


Members represent state and territory government health departments.

Standing Committee on Screening members

Member Background and experience

Professor Brendan Murphy (Chair)

Department of Health

Ms Phillipa Lowrey

Acting Assistant Secretary
Cancer Policy and Services Branch
Department of Health

Dr Jan Fizzell

Medical Advisor
Office of the Chief Health Officer NSW 
New South Wales Department of Health

Dr Sara Watson

Acting Chief Medical Officer
Northern Territory Department of Health

Professor Katina D’Onise

Prevention and Population Health Branch
South Australian Department for Health and Wellbeing

Ms Rachael Andersen

A/Assistant Director
Screening and Prevention Services 
Victorian Department of Health and Human Services

Dr Kerryn Coleman

Public Health Physician
Australian Capital Territory Department of Health

Dr Jeannette Young

Chief Medical Officer
Queensland Department of Health

Dr Scott McKeown

Deputy Director of Public Health
Tasmanian Department of Health and Human Services

Dr Kristen Nowak

Acting Director
Office of Population Health Genomics
Western Australia Department of Health

Dr Jane O’Hallahan (observer)

Group Manager
New Zealand National Screening Unit

Ms Astrid Kornneef (observer)

Group Manager
New Zealand National Screening Unit

Dr Vivienne Milch

Director, Cancer Care
Cancer Australia

Director (Secretariat) Screening Policy Section
Cancer Policy and Services Branch
Department of Health


Standing Committee on Screening secretariat

Contact the secretariat for the Standing Committee on Screening for further information on the committee.

SCoS [at]

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Last updated: 
2 October 2020